Pfizer and BioNTech announced they sold 200 million additional doses of their COVID-19 vaccine to the federal government, shots that could be tweaked to combat highly infectious mutated strains of the virus or used as third doses.
The company said Friday that the government "also has the option to acquire an updated version of the vaccine to address potential variants as well as new formulations of the vaccine."
The additional doses will be delivered to the government from October 2021 through April 2022, bringing the total supply of Pfizer shots purchased by the government to 500 million, plus 500 million more to be distributed globally.
Pfizer has suggested that a third dose of the vaccine might be needed to maintain protection against COVID-19. The government has said so far that third shots are not necessary, although the possibility has gained attention recently as the highly infectious delta variant has swept the country, mostly affecting people who are unvaccinated.
“As a long-term partner to the U.S. government in the fight against this pandemic, we are proud of the impact of vaccination efforts across the country. Vaccines have been and will remain critical to protecting lives against this devastating disease,” said Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla. “These additional doses will help the U.S. government ensure broad vaccine access into next year.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s panel of vaccine experts debated the need on Thursday for an extra dose to be given to patients with fragile immune systems, such as those with transplanted organs or people undergoing cancer treatments.
To date, nearly 69% of U.S. adults have received at least one shot, while roughly 60% have been fully vaccinated, according to the CDC. Of the roughly 339.7 million doses administered in the United States, over 189 million have been Pfizer vaccines.
Washington Examiner Videos
Original Author: Cassidy Morrison
Original Location: Pfizer sells US 200 million more COVID-19 vaccine shots, eyeing third doses